Woman Learns The Life-changing Truth Behind Her Burn Scars

As a baby, Annie Price was the victim of a terrible fire that left her with lifelong scars. The fire hid an ugly truth behind it – and now the woman, a mother in her own right, is not hiding the truth from her young daughter.

Annie was a child when the caravan she lived in, in Surrey, UK caught fire. She was left with horrible injuries on her face and body.

Even worse, she spent much of her life thinking her own mum had started fire, trying to deliberately kill her. Decades later, she learned the truth behind the fire that changed her life.

As a mother, Annie wants complete transparency

Now a mum to Sonny, two, and pregnant with her second child, she’s determined to tell them truth of how she got to where she is in life.

Recently, Annie spoke to the BBC. She shared that Sonny had touched my scars and said, “Mummy, what’s this on your hand?”

When I explained what they were, he got upset and said, ‘Where are my scars, Mummy?’

Annie Price

“I just said, ‘You really don’t want these!’ but when he can fully understand, I’ll explain exactly what happened to me,” Annie said.

She believed the wrong story her whole life

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So much to take in after the last few weeks.⁣ Have always felt the best form of activism was living dam well. Bravely and compassionately. ⁣ In light of these last few weeks though, that’s not enough… dipping in and out of explaining my story/stories over the years there are so many levels im bored. So bored I closed the book to focus on the future. When really i think talking more about all the little differences & adventures I went, go through and how i got through them is necessary because, here we are. Wondering why the hell all of this is happening. So cruelly & apparently easily. And then thinking it snuck up. But it didn’t. Just been focusing on different things. ⁣ ⁣ So ill talk more about the corners i know a bit about. Difference, the race gap that i sit in. Being a not entirely identifiable mix of black, Irish English traveller and how my adoptive mum & all my family manoeuvred making life for a bi racial baby normal and not an experience to be lived through. Little things that help. ⁣ ⁣ This is a pic of my mum and me- she fostered me from 4 wks. These are some of the adoption pics I sat for. They wanted me adopted into a black family for reasons I can understand tho not on board with. Love is love. Specially in the face of being a child of the state instead of a daughter to people that want & love you. Eventually after no luck getting a shiny new family I got to stay with my mum. Took her 6 yrs 🙂 not saying this to liken my problems to the ones happening around the world right now, sharing because beyond standing up for race, standing against name calling, for inclusion and recent donating understanding a little more about others helped me. And now realising no matter how well you may live there’s always a little more we can do…⁣ ⁣ On that note the next post will be about a few books my mum tralled the shops for. Not to talk about colour. No. To talk about all the normal significantly insignificant routines of kids, with images of people like me- black & bi racial. Because learning and education is as much about actually seeing what’s new & different to you AND making the new ‘normal’. ⁣ ⁣ Hope it helps x⁣

A post shared by Annie Price (@anniejprice) on Jun 4, 2020 at 2:40pm PDT

She grew up thinking her mother had set the fire on purpose. Annie’s mum Biddy, an Irish traveler, was married but got pregnant after having an affair with a black man.

When Annie was growing up, she was told she’d set fire to the caravan on purpose as she was worried her baby wouldn’t be accepted for the color of her skin.  

It wasn’t until Annie made a documentary three years ago that she discovered the fire was probably just an accident.

I went into making the film with my eyes open – it’s a sad story, but I wanted to close that chapter in my life.

Annie Price

The firemen who’d been at the scene in 1986 told Annie it was probably a gas fire set light to some cushions, and she had been rescued by her grandmother.

“I now know those sorts of fires were extremely common in the 80s, with around 2,000 blazes each year.”

“I was a baby, she didn’t know me. She wasn’t trying to kill me as I am as a person. She didn’t want me for whatever reason. You can’t condone these things.”

I felt guilty afterwards, thinking, ‘Why did I believe that my mum had tried to kill me?’

Annie Price

But kids sometimes just take what they are told as gospel.

Now, Annie wants people to look beyond her scars 

“I never wanted to be the poster girl for people with scars, but the reality is it’s important for me to talk more about looking different,” Annie revealed.

After the fire, Annie was given to a foster family where she grew up a happy girl. “I was a happy, chirpy little girl, and that translated to my classmates, so it was rare for anyone to bully me,’”she said.

I never felt, ‘I’m burned, this is a really big deal.’

She had many surgeries over her life and skin grafts, and scars that will stay forever, both physical and emotional. But she’s happy and in a good place. “The thing is, I’ve always looked this way. It’s not a new thing I have to learn how to deal with,” she told The Sun.

In fact, her scars even became an afterthought to her. “When I was in my twenties, my struggles weren’t “do I look pretty?” it was about everyday stuff like paying the rent and building my confidence up.”

She found love the healthy way

Now a fitness trainer, Annie’s aim is to help others feel more confident.

Now, as a personal trainer, I love helping others boost their confidence too. 

Annie Price to The Sun

Coincidentally, the gym is where she met her husband Sam. The two worked at the same gym and Annie insists that their connection developed naturally. “When I met my husband Sam at the gym where we both worked, we started off as friends, chatting all the time,” she said.

I’m a big believer that relationships take time, too – I’m the type of person who walks into love.

Annie Price

In 2020, her story is more relevant than we think

Communication is a core principle of her life. She wants her children to benefit from that too. But even more in general, Annie feels that her story needs to be told.

But changing dialogues make her realize how important being open is, even when it’s hard. “Now because of the Black Lives Matter movement, I feel like everyone in the country is having difficult conversations, and it’s made me think I could do more,” Annie said.

“Telling my story is important, as is hearing other people’s – that’s what lifts the world up.”

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